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Plate 23     Iceni    <info 1>    < 2 >

Page 2

The Coinage of the Iceni

After the war an extensive Icenian silver coinage was produced, which probably continued up to the time of the Boudiccan Rebellion. Silver units were produced to a standard weight of 1.25g. for nearly 100 years, a remarkable economic and technological achievement. There was a bewildering succession of types, subtypes and minor die varieties. These varieties have been systematically analyzed by John Talbot, and the arrangement is now reasonably certain. It appears that in any given period, three separate kinds of silver were being struck. Talbot suggests that the main Icenian mint either had two branch mints, or alternatively three workshops within a single mint. It is also possible that the different kinds of silver were either produced for different purposes, or perhaps at different times within a given period. Generally, the absolute chronology needs additional work. The chronology used here makes use of the work reported in John Talbot and Ian Leins's 2010 paper in The British Numismatic Journal.

The FRECKENHAM TYPE disappeared by 20 A.D. and the uninscribed silver coins were superseded by the dynastic. Very few inscribed gold coins are known. It is possible the gold coinage was minimal and the Iceni used silver coins augmented with Trinovantian/Catuvellaunian gold after 20 A.D. The Icenian dynastic period is largely one of a prolific silver coinage, beginning with the addition of an inscriptions to the CRESCENT TYPE and the introduction of the EMBLEM TYPE.

Most of the major types are listed here, but some of the minor issues need to be added. The dating of the various issues is controversial and that offered is somewhat arbitrary, based on die studies, typological sequences and analyses of coin hoards deposited around the rebellion of 61 A.D.

Page 1

The Coinage of the Iceni

The Iceni occupied the area that is today Norfolk, Suffolk and parts of Cambridgeshire. Until the time of the Gallic War, the tribe seems economically isolated. Large Flan, Defaced Die and Abstract Design Type staters are not commonly found in Icenian territory, and presumably few were imported. Locally-made coins, the NORFOLK WOLF TYPE staters and BURY TYPE silver, were first produced late in the Gallic War. The earliest Icenian gold coinage comprises gold staters with the abstracted head of Apollo on the obverse and a disjointed wolf on the reverse. The heavy weight indicates the series began some time around the end of the war. After the war, the coins become quite debased and bronze cores of plated staters occur with some frequency. Later, a small coinage of SNETTISHAM TYPE coins were struck in gold and silver.

Apparently, extensive trading contacts developed during the war with the Trinovantes/Catuvellauni. A small number of Gallic War Type staters are found and uninscribed staters of the Trinovantes/Catuvellauni also appear. After the war, the coins of Addedomaros and Tasciovanus circulated. It is possible the Iceni relied on these imports instead of striking their own gold in volume.

About 20 B.C., the gold content of the Icenian coinage was restored with the introduction of the FRECKENHAM TYPE. Staters and quarters were struck lighter in weight to conform with the coinages of the other British tribes. The staters had a flower pattern or cross of pellets on the obverse and a Celticized horse on the reverse. Three major types occurred, described either as EARLIER and LATER, based on style and the progressive damage to one particular die linked with several others. Since all three types occurred in the Freckenham Hoard, it is likely they were contemporary.

Continued….

 

Icenian Earliest Uninscribed Gold Coins

Norfolk Wolf Type    Icenian A

610.01610.02610.03610.05610.06

610.06

610 - 06    Norfolk Wolf Type    65-45 B.C.    ER
Gold/Bronze Plated Stater    4.37 gms.    20 mm

Earliest Record: Roth I sale, 1917 (Marks Tey find)
                               Sotheby, Wilkinson and Hodge

OBV: Abstracted head of Apollo right
Identifying points:
     1) as 610 - 01
     2) laurel leaves upwards

REV: Wolf right
Identifying points:
     1) as 610 - 01
     2) pellet and solid crescent below wolf

CLASSIFICATION: Icenian A

NOTES: Ancient forgery.
                Typical weight given.
                Illustrated coin is the Marks Tey find (Allen, 1960 suggested it came                      from either the 1807 or 1843 hoards)

                Rarity estimate 2013

610.05

610 - 05    Norfolk Wolf Type    50-15 B.C.    ER
Gold/Bronze Plated Stater    ca. 4.4 gms.    21 mm

Earliest Record: Van Arsdell, 1989

OBV: Abstracted head of Apollo right
Identifying points:
     1) as 610 - 03

REV: Wolf left
Identifying points:
     1) as 610 - 03

CLASSIFICATION: Icenian A

NOTES: Actual weight of illustrated coin given.
                Ancient forgery.

610.03

610 - 03    Norfolk Wolf Type    50-15 B.C.    ER
Gold Stater    5.7-6.2 gms.    17 mm

Earliest Record:Evans, 1864

OBV: Abstracted head of Apollo right
Identifying points:
     1) laurel leaves downwards

REV: Wolf left
Identifying points:
     1) large pellet and triangular arrangement of three pellets below wolf

CLASSIFICATION: Icenian A

NOTES: Typical weight given.
                Change in laurel leaves' direction may indicate a change in weight or                      metallic content.

610.02

610 - 02    Norfolk Wolf Type    50-15 B.C.    ER
GoldStater    5.7 6.2 gms.    17 mm

Earliest Record: Evans, 1864

OBV: Abstracted head of Apollo right
Identifying points:
     1) Laurel leaves downwards

REV: Wolf left
Identifying points:
     1) pellet and solid crescent below wolf

CLASSIFICATION: Icenian A

NOTES: Typical weight given.
               Change in laurel leaves' direction may indicate a change in weight or                     metal content.


601.01

610 - 01    Norfolk Wolf Type    50-15 B.C.    S
Gold Stater    5.7-6.2 gms.    16 mm

Earliest Record: Evans, 1864

OBV: Abstracted head of Apollo right
Identifying points:
     1) laurel leaves upwards

REV: Wolf right
Identifying points:
     1) pellet and solid crescent below wolf

CLASSIFICATION: Icenian A

NOTES: See modern forgery 610 - 0IF.
                Typical weight given.
                Most are in museums.

 

Icenian Earliest Uninscribed Silver Coins

Bury Type    Icenian A

645.01 new was 80.01

645.01 new was 80.01

645 - 01    Bury Type    50-15 B.C.    ER
Silver Unit    1.2 gms.    14 mm

Earliest Record: Evans, 1864

OBV: Celticized head left
Identifying points:
     1) head wears diadem
     2) large reverse 'S' in front of face

REV: Celticized horse left
Identifying points:
     1) pellet-in-ring motif below horse
     2) large pellet in ring motif above horse

CLASSIFICATION: Gallo-Belgic XD

NOTES: Typical weight given.
               Allen described as British LX10.
               Reverse of Hosidius type of the Corieltauvi (855-3) derived from this                      coin.
               Previously was 80 - 01 but John Talbot reports that large numbers of                      finds since 1989 demonstrate the type is British, not Continental,                      and should be assigned to the Iceni.

 

Icenian Early Uninscribed Gold and Silver Coins    

Snettisham Type    Icenian B

Gold Coinage615.01 new was 1505.01Silver Coins665.07665.09

665.09

665 - 09    Celtic Head Type    20 B.C. - 20 A.D.    ER
Silver Unit    14 mm

Earliest Record: Mack, 1964

OBV: Celticized head right
Identifying points:
     1) Head indistinct, with little detail

REV: Celticized horse right
Identifying points:
     1) eight-spoked wheel above horse
     2) three pellets above horse's head
     3) ring, possibly with several pellets inside, below horse

CLASSlFlCATlON: Icenian E

665.07

665 - 07    Celtic Head Type    20 B.C. - 20 A.D.    ER
Silver Unit    13 mm

Earliest Record: Mack, 1964

OBV: Celticized head right
Identifying points:
     1) eye comprised of rectangular box with line in centre
     2) no ear
     3) 'coffee bean' for mouth
     4) hair comprised of herring-bone pattern of lines

REV: Celticized horse right
Identifying points:
     1) ring-and-pellet motifs above, below and in front of horse
     2) pellet below horse's tail

CLASSlFlCATlON: Icenian E

615.01 new was 1505.01

615 - 01    Snettisham Type    40-15 B.C.    VR
Gold Stater    5.9-5.4 gms.    16 mm

Earliest Record: Mack, 1953

OBV: Almost plain
Identifying points:
     1) slight traces of crossed wreaths from Middle Whaddon Chase Type

REV: Romanized horse right
Identifying points:
     1) circle with pellet above horse
     2) circle with pellet below horse
     3) horse's tail made up of two lines
     4) four pellets above horse's neck

CLASSIFICATION: Icenian P

NOTES: Typical weight given, date range based on heaviest weight.
                Most are in museums.
                Previously attributed to the Trinovantes/Catuvellauni as a Late                     Whaddon Chase Type (1505 - 01), but now identified as an early                      Icenian issue by John Talbot.

 

 

 

 

 

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